By Khristine Rothschild

Cover photo courtesy of Dwayne Watkins

Since the dawn of time there has always been a deep and powerful emotion called love, which has controlled and capture the hearts of kings and queens, noblemen and commoners alike throughout history.

With this passion the wedding ceremony was born – according to history the initial ceremony was much different from what we know today. Before the Victorian era, (this was the period of the reign of Queen Victoria of England, which lasted 64 years), ceremonies were particularly simple and lacked the pomp and circumstance that they would later embody.

The famous Victorian era totally transformed not only the wedding ceremony as we know it, but it also evoked a major change in the concept of love in society as well as the ushering in of a “new” wave of romanticism throughout the world. This time is also attributed with showing the middle-class respectability and prudery – other introductions are a rather showy style of architecture, decorations and furnishings which are characterized by their massiveness, flowery carvings and ornate design.

Weddings in Victorian times were outrageously ostentatious, some even encompassed all the elements of what is known as conspicuous consumption, (this phrase was coined by Veblen in “The Theory of Leisure Class”). It is defined as showy extravagance in buying or using goods or services, meant to impress others with one’s wealth or status – this was prevalent in the 19th century.

It was for the first time during the Victorian era that the bride in all her white finery emerged – according to history yet again, the first bride to don an opulent white wedding gown was none other than Queen Victoria; before this, brides wore only a simple dress of any color. Therefore, brides’ post the Victorian era should pay great homage to Queen Victoria for emancipating them!

For millions of brides-to-be from around the globe their greatest desire and most idyllic setting for what is often referred to as a “dream wedding” is a spectacular tropical oasis with pristine white beaches, crystal clear turquoise seas and soothing trade winds. These ladies also long for a place that will transport them to a world that is completely drenched in mounds and mounds of romance and ardor – and of course, the tall dark knight in shining amour. If this seems like an over-the-top fairytale, for some brides it is attainable.

One of the most tranquil and picturesque locales on earth is the Caribbean – these beautiful isles of utopia are without a doubt the essence of wedded bliss and grandeur. With their world-renowned attributes such as diving, immaculate coral reefs, powdery white beaches and awesome golden sunsets, the Caribbean has for years been synonymous with perfect weddings. SM